Halle family put down roots in town
As part of an exhibition which celebrates Macclesfield’s Jewish history, curator Basil Jeuda shares some of his favourite stories
THIS is a photo taken in the 1950s of the four family directors of the Halle Group of Companies Gerhard and his sons Kalude, Bernard and Harold.
The family was of Jewish origin, though not practising Jews.
Gerhard had connections with a Jewish orphanage in Berlin, and he was in business as a textile agent, before coming to London in 1921, where his brother, Hugo, lived.
Gerhard established a business in Hanover Street, London,W1 manufacturing dresses.
His sons, including a fourth son Leonard, were all born in Berlin.
In the face of rising antisemitism in Germany, all the family moved to London in 1931 and became naturalized British citizens in 1938.
The onset of the War forced Gerhard to relocate his business to Macclesfield, initially moving in to the three top floors of Chester Road Mills.
Gerhard’s mother-inlaw was deported to a German Concentration Camp, though she was subsequently released.
The family lived at The Beeches, Upton, during the War.
The business originally manufactured “mediumto better-end gowns” and, from 1943, established Halle Overseas Ltd. which manufactured textile fabrics.
It prospered in the town, initially expanding into 39 Market Place, and then later into premises on Beech Lane.
The Halle Group sought to move to a greenfield site (in the form of a Garden Village) in Hurdsfield, but, in the end, opted to relocate to Park Green Mills in January 1946, where they employed several hundred people.
By 1973, under the name of Halle Models, they made Nightwear, Childrenswear, and Lingerie, and owned six other factories in Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire.
Klaude Halle joined the
exclusive RAF in 1943, and in December 1944, whilst based in South Africa, obtained his “Wings”.
The exhibition ‘Celebrating Jewish Life, Art and Enterprise in Macclesfield During World War Two’ commemorates the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Macclesfield Synagogue at 62 Chestergate, now Charles Roe House, where it is held. The free exhibition is open Wednesdays to Sundays, 11am to 4pm, until May 2.
●» This photo, taken in the 1950s, shows Klaude, Bernard, Gerhard and Harold Halle